Rusty blackhaw viburnum, Rusty blackhaw, Southern blackhaw, Downy viburnum
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
This viburnum is a shrub
usually growing to 18 ft. but sometimes taller with bark
separating into dark, rectangular plates. Twigs reddish brown with a thin light gray coating. Leaves in pairs, often on short spurs, the petioles covered with rust colored, branched hairs visible under a l0x hand lens; blades up to 3 1/2 inches long, elliptic
tip rounded or with a broad point, base rounded or broadly wedge shaped, margins finely serrate,
firm textured with a shiny upper surface. Glossy, dark-green, deciduous
leaves turn a variety of warm hues in autumn. Flowers white, from 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide, in rounded or flattened clusters up to 4 inches wide, appearing in March and April and noticeable from a distance in early spring. Fruit
fleshy, bluish black lightened by a waxy coating, up to 1/2 inch long, slightly longer than wide.
Rusty Blackhaw is distinguished from the more northerly Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium
, primarily by the reddish-brown hairs on foliage and other parts, as well as by the slightly larger leaves and paler blue fruit. The Latin species name, meaning reddish, also refers to the hairs. The two species intergrade where their ranges meet.
Image Gallery: 48 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, VA Native Distribution: VA
to s. OH,
s., except in mts., to FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Thickets, Open woodlands, Stream, river banks. Dry, rocky woods; thickets; stream banks. Open woodlands from East to Central Texas. Well-drained sand, loam, clay.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry Cold Tolerant:
Dry soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay Conditions Comments:
Slow-growing. Hard to propagate. With its waxy leaves, rusty blackhaw presents excellent fall hues of red, lavender, pink, and orange. Tiny clusters of flowers bloom in spring. In
Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Correll and Johnston noted that the fruit
tastes similar to raisins. Rusty blackhaw is good for understory plantings. Birds appreciate the fruit.
Showy, Understory tree,
Fall conspicuous, Attractive Use Wildlife:
Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals Interesting Foliage:
Birds Deer Resistant: